Bexley residents help to save Sir Edward Heath's former Salisbury home
PUBLISHED: 16:09 29 September 2011
Residents have been instrumental in saving a "national treasure" that was once the home of former Prime Minister and Bexley MP Sir Edward Heath.
The “momentous” decision to keep the site open was announced yesterday morning by the Charity Commission after trustees were unsuccessful in their bid to sell the property.
Arundells – the political stalwart’s home in Salisbury – and its contents is estimated to be worth £10million.
Last year 30,000 visitors passed through its doors. The trustees wanted to close and sell the property claiming it was not financially viable.
Co-ordinator of the Friends of Arundells and former Erith resident, Tony Burnside, said: “The public will be delighted to hear that Arundells will be saved for the nation.
“The commission made their final decision after thorough examination of the facts and provided trustees with practical solutions to the problems.
“We are ready and willing to assist the trustees to ensure Arundells is safe, sound and a success.”
Bexley residents wrote in which added to more than 200 representations to the commission and yesterday, it published its decision advising the board to explore alternative options to secure funding to avoid selling the home.
Mr Burnside said: “Ted Heath’s home provides a continual link to Bexley and Sidcup as it was his home for two decades.
“I often sit on a bench there, donated by the people of Bexley – a constant reminder of his links to the borough.”
Visit www.thefriendsofarundells.org.uk for more information on the Charity Commission’s decision.